Does your practice have a hive mentality?


You’ve probably heard the term “hive mentality” before. Many times its meaning does not carry a positive connotation.

The views expressed here belong to the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Optometry Times or UBM Medica.

You’ve probably heard the term “hive mentality” before. Many times its meaning does not carry a positive connotation. defines a hive mind as a “a collective consciousness, analogous to the behavior of social insects, in which a group of people become aware of their commonality and think and act as a community, sharing their knowledge, thoughts, and resources.”

This process goes against our concept as individuals in which we appreciate our unique qualities, while in the “hive” our individuality is wiped away.

Previously from Dr. Bowling: Should there be a dress code for ODs?

Did you ever watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation?” The Borg is a perfect (if fictional) example of humans acting with a hive mentality-acting with one mind as directed by the collective.

In business, this way of thinking is commonly referred to as “corporate culture.” When we think of our company’s culture, we’re applying the notion of being hive-minded. This hive-mindedness is linked to a strong corporate cultural identity that is shared by all. Culture is the soul that drives the people of every organization.

Why all this talk about hive mentality?


In running our optometric businesses, we need an effective team to execute our business plans to achieve our business goals. Developing a hive mentality allows your practice to become one well-oiled machine with every employee working with all members of the hive (your practice) toward a singular goal: practice success.

Any staff not working toward your practice success need to go. I know this sounds harsh, but one bad apple can spoil the entire barrel. It is astonishing how one employee’s bad attitude can seep through your practice, adversely affecting your other employees until finally it becomes a drain on morale, productivity, and even patient care.

It can also affect you, doctor. How many nights have you lain awake struggling with what to do about that problem employee? You need to be focused on your practice, not dealing with this on a daily basis. Let it go. Let them go. Life is too short.

While I’m not advocating your employees be “assimilated,” they do need to share your vision and be on board with what you want to accomplish.

When it comes to your business, resistance is futile.

Read more from Dr. Bowling here

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